Tuesday, October 31, 2017




I first remember seeing Poltergeist at the theater during the summer it was released in 1982. It seemed like a big deal at the time...ghosts…a haunted house…and lots of cool special effects. And I have good memories of this film, but that was quite a few summers ago. I’ve never seen it all the way through since and have never seen any of the sequels or remakes. So, I went into watching this with good memories and high expectations....But in watching it again, I thought though it had a lot of the right elements of a ghostly thrill ride, I didn't find that it dated particularly all that well. I don't find it nearly as good as the 60’s The Haunting, for example. It does have the great tag line “They’re here!” a likeable cast, some interesting special effects including a nifty scene where one of the ghost hunters is thinking his face is melting in a mirror. The scene with the corpses popping out of the ground during the finale is pretty good, too. It just feels a little bit like Spielberg lite…which, since it is produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Tobe Hooper, it probably is. It just didn’t get me all that involved this time around. .The excessive product placement didn’t help get me in the mood either.Maybe I’m just not the audience for this movie anymore. 

I’m not unhappy that I saw it…but I just don’t see myself watching it again.

 The Thing

I first remember seeing John Carpenter’s The Thing on cable  the year it came out. I honestly don’t remember much about it other than Kurt Russell and a band of scientists are in The Arctic fighting aliens. I actually have more vivid memories of the original The Thing from 1951 featuring James Arness as our scary Arctic alien.Watching the Carpenter film now, I think it looks very good all these years later. Not a hit when it was first released, it has deservedly become a classic of the genre. Our band of Arctic macho men are being taken over by an alien force that has been buried in Ice for thousands of years and uncovered by another band of explorers (Damn Norweigians!). Our Icebound band of brothers are taken over one by one and it gives the film an Invasion of the Body Snatchers feel of who can you trust and who do you need to kill...and can you even trust the dog? It is suspenseful, the plot (based on the story by John W. Campbell) is involving and the makeup and special effects are pretty spectacular when you consider this movie is thirty-five years old. 

I'm happy that I saw it. I definitely see myself watching this one again.

 Happy Halloween!

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